Makeover Madness!

Never fear: Television can change your life when there’s a makeover show specially designed to do just that. ANDREW WOMACK follows two guests and learns.

Welcome to another episode of Makeover Madness!, where we hear from everyday people who want more than just a little change in their lives. We show them that they really can be all they want to be, with total makeover help from our plastic surgeons, cosmetic artists, and fashion stylists.

* * *

Minneapolis, Minnesota—The home of John and Charlotte Paxton and their daughter, Tiffany

John: Charlotte’s three years younger than me, and our daughter’s 12-years-old. But I swear, people who don’t know us, they think—they’ll ask, even—if she’s my granddaughter, and if Charlotte is my daughter. It’s a little embarrassing.

Charlotte, wife: Oh, John just started looking a lot, lot older. We’ve been married 20 years, and he was sooooo handsome when we first met. Sure, he’s got his share of wrinkles—it adds character! And hey—lots of men lose their hair. Get over it! Do what that Billy Zane does and shave it! But he should quit pretending otherwise and definitely stop putting that goo in it every morning.

Plus that thing on the side of his head just got deeper and wider and I swear, one morning, it changed color.

John: I don’t want to change who I am, but I know I need a major tune-up. If I can look my age, I just know Charlotte’s gonna love me more for it.

Tiffany, daughter: I have, like friends but they won’t visit anymore? Because Daddy can read their minds with the dwarf that lives in his head-hole?

* * *

Westmoreland Falls, Oregon—The home of Leslie Hanson, 26, and her mother, Sally

Leslie: For the longest time I felt I could have been beautiful. But, there’s my nose. I mean, obviously, right? Not that everyone hasn’t noticed. It just hooks so much.

Sally, mother: Maybe my little baby’s never been the prettiest bloom in the bunch, but in my eyes she’s always been the most beautiful girl. But hey, if this is what it will take to make her happy, then God bless her, and God bless you Mr. Cameraman.

Patrick, high-school friend: Leslie’s a knockout. She’s just never known it. I’m really hoping this will make her see just how special she really is.

Leslie: I didn’t have many friends in high school. I mean, I was always so shy and everything. [looks down] I used to get made fun of a lot, and that really, really hurt… [wipes tear from her eye] And then… [begins crying] And then, at the prom, they all came up with this big joke—[sobs]—they made me think the cutest boy in school—[sobbing harder]—mmph urch—[uncontrollable sobbing; calms down]—but he really wasn’t!—[resumes uncontrollable sobbing] And my dress got torn! The dress my mother made for me!

[assumes evil glint in left eye] But I’m going to show them. I’m going to show them all.

* * *

We fly John and Leslie to Los Angeles to meet with our crack team of plastic surgeons, cosmetic artists, and fashion and makeup stylists.

Dr. Stevens, plastic surgeon: What we’re going to do is nip about an inch out of the neck here. Then we’ll pull back the forehead, and deflate the eye area. How does that sound?

John: [begins tearing up] Oh, my, I just…I just can’t believe it…you’ve changed my life! [cries uncontrollably]

Dr. Stevens: Dear god!!! What is that? [relaxes] Oh, phew! I thought it was a syphilitic crevasse—but no! It’s just a run-of-the-mill templar indentation. Do you want to do anything about it?

John: [stops crying] Well sure, why not! Nobody likes to make children cry! So, what, can it just be sucked out or something?

Dr. Stevens: Um, sure, no problem. You ever take a dent out of a car door? Haha, just kidding. Actually, not really, since we do use the same technology.

* * *

Leslie meets with the plastic surgeon.

Leslie: It’s my nose. It’s just too…too… [holds hands in front of face, makes curving gesture]

Dr. Stevens: Ahh, yes, I see. So, what we’ll do is just shear off the entire left side, lift the tip, narrow the nostricular area. That’s going to look beautiful. Anything else you want done?

Leslie: [begins tearing up] Oh, my, I just…I just can’t believe it…you’ve changed my life! [cries uncontrollably]

Dr. Stevens: Is there anything else—

Leslie: Bigger boobs.

* * *

After the three-week recovery period, John and Leslie are ready to visit our stylists.

John, in a wheelchair: I made it! Man, you gotta thick head of hair!

Paolo, hairstylist: Fantastic! And yes! Hi, I’m Paolo!

John: Hi, Pauly, good to meet you. I’d shake your hand but, as you can see, both my arms are broken. We did some last-minute limb-lengthening at the plastic surgeon’s. I’m sure I’ll be pleased with the results.

Paolo: Oh, I have no doubt. [turns John’s wheelchair toward the mirror] So, what do we want to do today?

John: Hey, I don’t know! You’re the expert! I’m putty in your hands. Course, you can tell I’m thinning a little on top.

Paolo: I am, I can, and it’s true, you are. So, about this hairstyle that you currently have… Your wife has said that your current look is ‘the most intricate comb-over ever devised,’ and ‘sort of like an ice-cream sundae of hair.’ And I concur. So what I’m thinking is shorter, and more stylish, more trimmed and neat—

John: Well, hold on there. I don’t want to just look like I’m going bald or anything.

Paolo: Oh, really? So, if I understand correctly, by using a 50-50 compound of mousse and wallpaper paste, taking this 18-inch-long tuft of hair that grows from just above your right ear, and this three-inch-diameter, six-inch-long cowlick that sprouts up from the center of your scalp like freshly rolled oats, you believe you’ve constructed a hairstyle that appears to be a normal head of hair?

John: Well…

Paolo, staring at where the indentation on John’s head used to be and now strangely calm: You know, I am beginning to agree.

John: Would you also like to know what kind of mousse I prefer?

Paolo: Immediately and without haste.

* * *

Stephanie has done makeup for many of Hollywood’s biggest names, including Sheena Easton and others too.

Leslie, nose still bandaged: I want a look that’s, oh, I don’t know…vampy.

Stephanie, makeup artist: Whoa, those are some melons.

Leslie: Yes, they’re for distraction purposes.

Stephanie: Well, honey, they work. So, vampy, right? And the eyes?

Leslie: Ahh, yes, the eyes. Something piercing sounds good. Yes—something that looks deep into the souls of men and says, ‘I’ve come back for you after all these years. I’ve come to seek my revenge on your souls.’

Stephanie: I have this eyeliner here that might work.

Leslie: Indeed, let us see if it shall.

* * *

After a total of seven weeks with Makeover Madness, we’re ready to send John and Leslie back home to their families and loved ones.

John: I think, if I do say so myself, that I look fantastic! All the problem areas are cleaned up, I’ve kept my signature hairstyle. How can I complain! Thanks Makeover Madness! And thank you, Paolo.

Paolo, sporting the same hairstyle as John: The pleasure was mine, all mine. Really, I feel that I’ve learned so much from this man. He is a true visionary.

John: Oh, stop—

Paolo: No, it’s true. I’ve been doing hair for fifteen years, and never have I considered meringue a hair product. Nev-er.

John: Thank you, thank you. Anyway, long story short, Paolo wants to get out of the hustle-bustle L.A. lifestyle, so we’ve decided to join forces and open a chain of high-end salons across the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Tiffany’s had a couple of off-mark report cards lately, so until I’ve got reason to think otherwise, I believe we’ll just dip into her college account to fund the first few locations. I just can’t tolerate anything less than perfection.

Paolo: So true, so true.

John: He’ll be living with me and Char for a few weeks, until he can pick up an apartment or something.

Paolo: [begins tearing up] Oh, my, I just…I just can’t believe it…you’ve changed my life! [cries uncontrollably]

John: There, there.

* * *

Leslie: Well, I’m all set to return to Westmoreland Falls. Ahh, Westmoreland Falls, how much I have to thank you for! Right. Our mighty football team, oh how much fun you made of me…then, but what will you say when you see me now—eh guys? And Cindy Allison! You and the rest of the cheerleaders! How you made so much fun of me then!

Still, I heard they were all going on a reunion camping trip to Lake Winnipecheeka together. Apparently they’re planning to get a secluded cabin or something…

Other than that, Dr. Stevens said that my nose is still probably a little tender and that at night I should wear this. [puts on a white plastic mask that looks not unlike a hockey mask] Yes, this should do fine.

Patrick: Man, I can’t wait to see Leslie again. I bet she looks totally awesome.


Andrew Womack is a founding editor of The Morning News. He is always working on the next installment of the Albums of the Year series at TMN. More by Andrew Womack